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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Beijing There: It's Not All Fun and Games

June 24, 2008

By Barry Janoff
BrandWeek (USA)
June 22, 2008

The official theme song for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing is
"Forever Friends," by Michael Kunze and Giorgio Moroder.

However, given the hoops, or in this case the five rings symbolic of
the Olympics, that they have had to jump through to see their efforts
come to fruition, some marketers might change the song to Johnny
Cash's "Ring of Fire."

Activation behind the Games, which begin Aug. 8, could hit $2 billion
worldwide, via campaigns in the U.S., China and, as in the case of
Visa, global activation.

NBC, which is putting more than $1 billion into the event (combined
rights fees and activation), is charging an average of $750,000 for a
30-second spot, and said it plans to top the $1 billion in ad sales
it set during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. The network will
provide lots of marketing opportunities for companies as it plans to
have 3,600 hours of coverage on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Oxygen,
Telemundo, Universal Sports Network, plus their HDTV and online siblings.

"We are on pace to break records for the Olympics," said Brian
Walker, senior director of corporate communications at NBC Sports.

The theme among U.S. marketers, to no surprise, is unity. Bank of
America: "America Cheers," via BBDO, New York. Visa: "Go World," via
TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles. McDonald's: "The more we get together,"
via DDB Chicago. 24 Hour Fitness: "We are all athletes," via
PenaBrand, San Francisco.

Two months out, though, marketers have had feelings other than unity.
Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo (the only China-based company among the
International Olympic Committee's 12 worldwide partners) paid $15
million each to become the official sponsors of the Olympic torch
run, according to analysts. But protests en route regarding China's
political and ethical positions in Tibet and Darfur forced those
marketers to reduce their visibility and surrounding promotions.
Separately, the earthquake that hit central China in May saw many
Olympic partners shift resources from marketing to humanitarian,
including Coke, Panasonic, McDonald's and GE.

This month, the Beijing Organizing Committee detailed restrictions
for the 500,000 international visitors expected in August, including
companies and the athletes who represent them. Among other edicts,
people were told not to bring in "anything detrimental to China,
including printed materials, photos, records or movies. Religious or
political banners or slogans are banned. So are rallies,
demonstrations and marches, unless approved by authorities in
advance." During a speech in April, IOC president Jacques Rogge said,
"We do ask that there is no propaganda nor demonstrations at Olympic
Games venues for the very good and simple reason that we have 205
countries and territories represented, many of whom are in conflict,
and the Games are not the place to take political nor religious stances."

Visitors to Olympic venues have always been expected to maintain
decorum. "But this will be the first time many people will be getting
this close a look into China, and everything seems bigger, more
challenging," said Rick Dudley, president/CEO at Octagon, which
represents many Olympians. "If you watch the Games on TV, I expect
that NBC will address [political] situations, but in the proper
perspective. They won't take anything way from the athletes."

Despite these challenges, marketers say the Beijing Games will
generate more viewers and revenue than any previous Olympics. "We are
very aware of the [political] situations, but I'm confident in our
plans and our ROI," said Mary Dillon, evp/global CMO at McDonald's.

Meanwhile, China faces the challenge of being on a world stage in
this type of atmosphere for the first time. "China is still unknown
to a lot of people," said Rick Burton, CMO at the USOC. "So when you
know so many people are coming to your house, you are going to mow
your lawn."The official theme song for the 2008 Summer Olympics in
Beijing is "Forever Friends," by Michael Kunze and Giorgio Moroder.

However, given the hoops, or in this case the five rings symbolic of
the Olympics, that they have had to jump through to see their efforts
come to fruition, some marketers might change the song to Johnny
Cash's "Ring of Fire."

Activation behind the Games, which begin Aug. 8, could hit $2 billion
worldwide, via campaigns in the U.S., China and, as in the case of
Visa, global activation.

NBC, which is putting more than $1 billion into the event (combined
rights fees and activation), is charging an average of $750,000 for a
30-second spot, and said it plans to top the $1 billion in ad sales
it set during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. The network will
provide lots of marketing opportunities for companies as it plans to
have 3,600 hours of coverage on NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA, Oxygen,
Telemundo, Universal Sports Network, plus their HDTV and online siblings.

"We are on pace to break records for the Olympics," said Brian
Walker, senior director of corporate communications at NBC Sports.

The theme among U.S. marketers, to no surprise, is unity. Bank of
America: "America Cheers," via BBDO, New York. Visa: "Go World," via
TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles. McDonald's: "The more we get together,"
via DDB Chicago. 24 Hour Fitness: "We are all athletes," via
PenaBrand, San Francisco.

Two months out, though, marketers have had feelings other than unity.
Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lenovo (the only China-based company among the
International Olympic Committee's 12 worldwide partners) paid $15
million each to become the official sponsors of the Olympic torch
run, according to analysts. But protests en route regarding China's
political and ethical positions in Tibet and Darfur forced those
marketers to reduce their visibility and surrounding promotions.
Separately, the earthquake that hit central China in May saw many
Olympic partners shift resources from marketing to humanitarian,
including Coke, Panasonic, McDonald's and GE.

This month, the Beijing Organizing Committee detailed restrictions
for the 500,000 international visitors expected in August, including
companies and the athletes who represent them. Among other edicts,
people were told not to bring in "anything detrimental to China,
including printed materials, photos, records or movies. Religious or
political banners or slogans are banned. So are rallies,
demonstrations and marches, unless approved by authorities in
advance." During a speech in April, IOC president Jacques Rogge said,
"We do ask that there is no propaganda nor demonstrations at Olympic
Games venues for the very good and simple reason that we have 205
countries and territories represented, many of whom are in conflict,
and the Games are not the place to take political nor religious stances."

Visitors to Olympic venues have always been expected to maintain
decorum. "But this will be the first time many people will be getting
this close a look into China, and everything seems bigger, more
challenging," said Rick Dudley, president/CEO at Octagon, which
represents many Olympians. "If you watch the Games on TV, I expect
that NBC will address [political] situations, but in the proper
perspective. They won't take anything way from the athletes."

Despite these challenges, marketers say the Beijing Games will
generate more viewers and revenue than any previous Olympics. "We are
very aware of the [political] situations, but I'm confident in our
plans and our ROI," said Mary Dillon, evp/global CMO at McDonald's.

Meanwhile, China faces the challenge of being on a world stage in
this type of atmosphere for the first time. "China is still unknown
to a lot of people," said Rick Burton, CMO at the USOC. "So when you
know so many people are coming to your house, you are going to mow your lawn."
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